4th European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training takes off in the Netherlands
(Source: European Defence Agency; issued March 22, 2017)
EINDHOVEN --- The 4th European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training exercise (EART 2017) is hosted by the Netherlands at Eindhoven airbase from 26 March to 7 April with four nations participating. EART 2017 will bring together tankers from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and France for a two week training exercise.

The EART concept was introduced in 2014 following EDA’s air-to-air refuelling initiative, and is run by European Air Transport Command (EATC) from Eindhoven airbase. The exercise is supported by the Host nation (Netherlands), MCCE and EDA. EART is organised on a yearly basis and is pooled with the Dutch Frisian Flag fighter exercise that operates from Leeuwarden Airbase.

The aim of EART 2017 is to train tanker crews in air-to-air refuelling operations within a realistic and multinational framework. In combination with the Frisian Flag exercise, EART 2017 represents a unique opportunity for specific training for air crews, planners, taskers and engineers in planning and executing missions in a complex COMAO (composite air operation) environment. The exercise director for EART 2017 is Colonel Andrea Massucci (Italian Air Force).

During the training exercise, crews will have the opportunity to increase their know-how in complex multinational scenarios. Furthermore crews can enhance their knowledge of multinational tanker aircraft and exchange information and procedures. EART 2017 is part of an approach that puts a premium on joint training exercises and increased standardisation to enhance overall effectiveness and interoperability of forces.

EDA Live coverage: March 29th

EDA will be live from Eindhoven airbase for special coverage of EART2017. Throughout the day we will be bringing you live updates on twitter of the training exercise, interviews and coverage of air-to-air refuelling in action.

Air-to-Air Refueling: EDA’s Global Approach

EDA has developed a global approach with three objectives: optimizing the use of assets, increasing the overall AAR capacity and reducing fragmentation of the fleet. This work has led to three complementary work-strands, on some of which EDA is cooperating closely with other agencies and organizations like OCCAR, the Movement Coordination Center Europe (MCCE) and the European Air Transport Command (EATC).

EART 2017 is part of EDA’s first work strand (optimization of existing capabilities), which is achieved by supporting training exercises. In this domain, EDA has also taken the lead to streamline the different certification processes leading to a clearance. By standardizing these processes the different aviation authorities can easily identify the differences between their own process and their counterpart. By working closely together, already fielded capabilities and future capabilities, can work more cost efficiently and increase their operational output.

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